Script in the Door - Complications Ensue
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Friday, June 13, 2008

I have a reputation of writing good busniess letters in my MBA classroom.

but when it comes to show biz, I'm ending up in problems.

for example: if I were to target Dreamworks, and I address the letter to Steven Spielberg. it'll go to the trash can.

if I were to find out an intern and then address to him, he may change companies in weeks so that he can get more pay. so whom do I target.

It is the same even with the smallest Producer co/agent/management firm. how do I solve this.

so I decided to go to www.inktip.com and maybe www.scriptpimp.com. what is your take on posting screenplays on these websites?

which else are the other recommended sites for presenting your work on the net so that it is accesible to prod co.s/agents/managers?
Yeah, I wouldn't send anything to Steve, he's busy. However, reading material is what interns and assistants and development people do. It doesn't matter how long they're there, so long as they read your script and bump it up to the next person. Moreover, if someone likes your script, they might take it with them to their new job and try to interest people there.

I still think sending queries (as I've blogged and written about extensively -- see my book CRAFTY SCREENWRITING) is the best way to get material into the system from outside. (The best way from inside is to give a script to people who like you who are higher up the food chain. That's why you move to LA.) The main change I'd make in my book (if they'd let me publish a second edition) is that email has largely replaced snail mail for queries.

I don't think the script web sites are a great way to go. There's no record of who's reading your script or what they're doing with it. People rarely steal scripts, but they might steal your concept -- you can't copyright a concept -- and rewrite it with different characters and a different plot. You'd never know and you'd have no way of proving anything. If you send it to a person at a company, they are far less likely to poach it. They may option it for almost nothing, but at least you'll have an eventual payday if a film goes based on it.

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7 Comments:

I'm not in the biz or anything, but might trying to woo an agent help avoid such situations at a production company? Sure, there's the whole intern issue and the higher ups not able to be bothered at an egency. . .but at least the agents know who to contact at a production company and it's the agents "job" to find/represent writers rather than the multitude of other functions that a production company has, right?

By Blogger The_Lex, at 2:19 PM  

I've actually had some success with Inktip.com. It's one of the few screenwriter websites that really seem to be doing it right. I had one of my scripts optioned a couple of times, and some near options, as well. Unfortunately it never made it to a final sale, but that's not the fault of the website. They are apparently very careful about the industry professionals they give access to the site.

By Blogger Tim W., at 2:48 PM  

Just a note, InkTip does give you a record of who reads your script, and now includes a little bio of them if they've read more than just the logline.

By Blogger Steve Peterson, at 2:50 PM  

If you ever publish a second edition of Craft Screenwriting, I'd recommend a blog entry asking for suggestions, which is not meant as a passive-aggressive attack. The book was helpful, but as I read, I thought of several ways it could be more so.

By Blogger David, at 3:08 PM  

David, I would LOVE to revamp CS. That's why I wanted to do a second edition. And if they go ahead with it, I will totally ask readers what they want to see in it.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 3:11 PM  

I don't know what I'd want in a second edition, but I'd buy it if I thought it would have significant added content. Otherwise, I'd probably browse it at a book store and continue to recommend it.

By Blogger Steve, at 7:12 AM  

Thanks for the suggestion about e-mailing queries. Is there a reputable service you could recommend for doing so (e.g., equerydirect, etc.)? Thank you.

By Blogger PReeves, at 2:49 PM  

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